Initiated by Habitat Forum (INHAF) and Sustainable Initiatives (SI), the Open Ideas National Competition on Improving Livability of Small Houses and a 12 week “Housing Studio” on the same theme, are parallel and also complementary activities. Piloted at Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture (BNCA), Pune by INHAF, the 3rd season of the housing studio is being launched simultaneously in a number of architectural colleges in Pune, Mumbai and elsewhere in the country.

The purpose is to sensitise young professionals and senior design students by exposing them to the challenge and nuance of designing small spaces with limited budget which are livable, functionally appropriate, comfortable, accommodative, healthy and environmentally sustainable.

The idea is to academically equip them to critically analyse what is coming up in the streets in the form of affordable and low cost housing, and apply their skill, acumen and learning to produce innovatively better

The aim is to make both students and faculty see the challenge, engage them to work on live situations under the guidance of a proper academic regimen and the mentorship of professional architectural firms, and motivate them to contribute to improve and change what our public agencies and private developers are making in our cities.
Studio Commences end of June as per Academic Calender 2024

Housing Studio Program designed under the aegis of the OINC 2024 (Season IV) is open for Students from Illrd/ IVth/ Vth year under the guidance of their Faculty, and a partnering practising Architectural Firm.

The Studio is designed to be conducted over a period of 12 weeks as part of their academic work.

The Studio will sensitize Students through discussions towards improving the liveability of small houses through their design efforts.

Interested architecture colleges and other design institutes are requested to contact and further exploration.

Four identified architectural practice firms will act as Mentor firms for four participating architecture colleges in Pune and Mumbai.

Stage 1: FAQ on the Housing Studio Program will be shared with interested colleges by 25th May 2024. Participating colleges (including Housing Faculty) and the mentoring architecture firms are introduced and briefed about the expectations and outcomes of the Housing Studio through Virtual. Kickoff Conference on 3rd July 2024 (details to be announced later).

Stage 2: With the beginning of the academic year, a week wise schedule is followed by the students & faculty to conduct case studies, generate ideas and develop their housing design, with focus on livebility for small homes.

Stage 3: Mentoring architecture firms engage with the students to see and give comments on their designs to make the designs buildable.

Stage 4: Faculty and Mentoring architecture firms identify potentially good designs for further participation in the Housing Studio Competition.

Stage 5: Finished entries are sent to external jury for assessment and winning design will be announced.

Stage 6: Suitable designs/innovations will be shared with interested project promoters, public and private, for use in their field projects.

The organizers welcome participation from architecture colleges across India. Colleges outside Pune/Mumbai can select their own Mentor Firm and participate similarly. Participating colleges may inform INHAF/SI of their intention to participate in the Housing Studio and share the credentials of the mentoring firms.

Jury Panel

Competition Results

Winners announced on 2nd August 2023

More information about the competition components and the deliverables are available in the detailed brochure. Click here to Download.

Studio commences end of June as per Academic Calendar 2024

Your entries can be submitted in PDF format with a maximum size of 12MB. The deadline to submit is 30th September 2024.  For more details, please refer the Competition Brochure.

Attractive cash prizes and two special mentions for outstanding designs.

Please use the following sheet templates for the submission. Click here to dowalod the Sheet Templates.

New Ideas and Innovations for Small yet Better Designed.

Better Designed. Better Functioning. Better Evolved. Sustainable and Green. Socially and Psychologically Better. Better Relating Neighbourhoods.

Check FAQs here. For further queries/clarifications/suggestions etc. Interested architecture colleges and other design institutes are requested to contact and further exploration.

Aravind Unni, his core area of interest for research is “Urbanization and its intersection with Poverty in cities”. With hands-on experience in working with communities over the last ten years in participatory planning, formulating policy recommendations for people’s concerns related to housing and livelihoods, and advocating for equitable and just cities. Aravind is currently leading Urban Poverty Reduction Thematic within IGSSS. IGSSS is a non-profit developmental organization and leading its Urban Poverty Reduction interventions in over 25 cities in India. Specializing in conceptualizing urban poverty reduction interventions within the framework of sustainable urban development and managing multiple – multicity urban actions for equitable city development. He is leading and supporting many civil society campaigns on the inclusion of urban poor urban discourse and playing an increasing role in the grounding of urban climate action interventions for Indian cities with civil society networks. Also is also coordinating and mentoring the research and capacity-building aspects of the urban thematic.

Chaitanya Gajbhiye is an undergraduate student of architecture, an artist and a film-maker. He is currently pursuing 5th year of academic pursuit at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi after having completed a successful internship at Pt. Biro Benda, Bali, Indonesia under the guidance of Ar. Alexis Dornier. He is serving as the National Secretary at the National Association of Students of Architecture (NASA India) in the Executive Council of the 65th Year. With an ambition to provide aid to need based and deserving students, he took up an initiative to start NISF – NASA India Scholarship Funds during his tenure as the National Treasurer for the 64th year. He has conducted Trophies and has overseen various Programs and Conventions as a part of NASA India and believes that the initiatives aid in students becoming the forefront of growth in architecture. He strives to advocate for social change through his design practices. He was a silver medalist at the Asian Contest of Architectural Rookies Awards for 2020 and also bagged the Popular choice award at AYDA for the same year.

Ar. Kirtee Shah is the founder president of India Habitat Forum (INHAF), a twenty year old national network of habitat professionals and civil society organizations; founder chairman of Home Losers’ Service Association of Ahmedabad (HOLSAA; set up following the earthquake in Gujarat in 2001); president of Bangalore based Institute for Cultural Research and Action (ICRA) for the past 30 years; one of the founders of the Ashoka Innovator for the Public, which now has a presence in more than 90 countries of the world and is engaged actively with the institutional development activities of Citynet and  Asian Coalition for  Housing Rights (ACHR).

As a member of the Prime Minister appointed National Commission on Urbanization (NCU) in the mid 80’s, he chaired a Working Group on Urban Poverty in India. Founder Director of Ahmedabad Study Action Group (ASAG;  an NGO he set up with other likeminded colleagues and leads for the past 48 years).

Lumanti Shrestha Joshi is an architect working with urban poor communities in Nepal since 2008. She graduated as architect in 2001. She has been working with LUMANTI Support Group for Shelter from 2008. She is currently working as Programme Manager-Housing in Lumanti. She is an active member of Community Architects Network and Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, which is based in Bangkok. LUMANTI Support Group for Shelter is a non-government organization dedicated to alleviate urban poverty in Nepal through integrated approach of improving shelter conditions. LUMANTI with its approach of providing housing for urban poor is now working for onsite upgrading of settlements with the provision of secure tenure, support in the construction of housing and improved access to sanitation and water supply and credit facilities. She is deeply involved in promoting community development projects, primarily Housing, keeping people at the center. She is involved in various slum upgrading and housing projects implemented in various cities around Nepal by LUMANTI, which are done in partnership with community organizations and local government. She enjoys working closely with the communities. She is now part of the reconstruction projects initiated by the organization which supported vulnerable families in reconstruction of their earthquake damage houses. These projects are planned in different areas in Nepal like Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Makwanpur and Rasuwa districts. She leads a team of technical and social backgrounds to support in this reconstruction process. She is currently involved in post-earthquake rehabilitation work, focusing in 5 different districts and providing shelter support to more than 4000 families. LUMANTI has been promoting and advocating for the community driven recovery and reconstruction.

Prem Chandavarkar is the managing partner of CnT Architects: an award-winning and widely published architectural practice based in Bangalore, India. He received his training at School of Planning and Architecture Delhi (B.Arch., 1978) and University of Oregon USA (M.Arch., 1982).

Sameep Padora, Born in Chamba, Northern India, Sameep Padora established his Mumbai based practice in 2007 after graduating from the GSD, Harvard University. In response to India’s socio-cultural diversity the studio has over the years operated through multiple modes of practice. The studio searches for methods to articulate value beyond addressing just program, materials and skills while looking at context as a repository and not just as a stylistic benchmark. The practice has in the past received the Wallpaper Design Award for Best Public Building,  Beazley Architecture Prize, Wienerberger Brick Award, Archdaily Building of The Year 2019, Wallpaper Design Award for House of the Year, as well as the Architectural Review’s Emerging Architecture and the AR Library Commendation Awards.  Besides the architectural practice, the studio also runs a not-for-profit sPare that researches issues of urbanization in India with a focus on housing. sPare’s research publications; In the Name of Housing, How to build an Indian House and (de)Coding Mumbai are projects attempting to unravel the production of affordable housing in Indian cities. This work has been published in India and internationally and was also exhibited at the Seoul Biennale in 2019. Sameep is also one of the co-founders of the Bandra Collective, a group of six architects engaged with the design of public spaces in Mumbai

Sandra Durzo is an architect whose aim is to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable. She began her career in the international office of Mecanoo in the Netherlands and has since worked with the NGO Architecture and Development, in Salvador, East Timor, the Philippines, Afghanistan and Palestine, and with Oxfam GB in post-tsunami housing reconstruction in Sri Lanka. Sandra D’Urzo is now a Senior Officer in the Shelter and Settlements Division at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Geneva, where she is the focal person for shelter risk reduction and recovery and post-disaster operations and shelter programmes in the Americas. The interviews and supporting essays show built environment professionals collaborating with post-disaster communities as facilitators, collaborators and negotiators of land, space and shelter, rather than as ‘save the world’ modernists, as often portrayed in the design media.

Dr. Sheuli Mitra is an architect and urban planner, educated in Jadavpur University, Kolkata and IIT Kharagpur. She is presently Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at SPA, Bhopal. She has been involved both in teaching and professional work in architecture and urban planning for the last 20 years. Her research areas include urban studies, focusing on urban transformations and the social and economic dynamics in land and housing markets, affecting urban structures. Currently she is involved in undertaking research and consultancy works in the domain of urban land and affordable housing. She has earlier headed the consulting division of Eastern India of an International Property Consultant leading to her insight into the role of private sector in housing markets. Her research addresses process and product innovations to make supply of urban land and housing more socially accessible. She has publications to her credit and has presented her work in national and international forums. Through her teachings and studio works, she tries to initiate and disseminate her works in the research domain of urban land and housing among students, professionals and public.

Shyam Khandekar, based in the Netherlands, is Co-Founder and Director of MY LIVEABLE CITY, the international knowledge platform operating from India,Netherlands and the US. Trained as an urban-designer ( University of Manchetser UK ), urban planner ( TU Delft, Netherlands ) and architect ( IIT Kharagpur, India), he has more than 4 decades of design experience leading multi-disciplinary design projects in Netherlands and India. His recent books include ( in tandem with Prof. Vinayak Bharne of USC, USA ) : AFFORDABLE HOUSING & INCLUSIVE CITIES ( 2015), DESIGNING FOR SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH UPCYCLING (2019) and STREETS FOR ALL : 50 IDEAS FOR SHAPING RESILIENT CITIES ( 2022). He is also founder and chairman of DAIDA, a ngo based in the Netherlands.

Yatin Pandya, is an author, academician, researcher as well as practising architect, with his firm FOOTPRINTS E.A.R.T.H. (Environment Architecture Research Technology Housing). Graduate of CEPT university, Ahmedabad he has availed Master of Architecture degree from McGill University, Montreal. Yatin has been involved with city planning, urban design, mass housing, architecture, interior design, product design as well as conservation projects. Yatin has won over thirty-eight National and International awards for architectural design, research as well as dissemination. The most recent ones have been the United nation’s habitat award special mention and United State’s Curry Stone Foundation Design Prize for sustainable practice. He has written over three hundred articles in National and International Journals. Several books authored by him on architecture, especially “Concepts of space in traditional Indian architecture”, and “Elements of space making” have been published internationally. He has also been involved in preparing over 30 video documentaries on Architecture. He has been visiting faculty at the National Institute of Design and CEPT University and guest lecturer/ critic to various universities in India and abroad. He has served as thesis guide to nearly 300 Graduate, Masters and PhD students. He has lectured in over fifteen countries in over hundred fora. Environmental sustainability, Socio-cultural appropriateness, Timeless aesthetics and Economic affordability are key principles of his work.